Love food, hate waste. . . save money!

Looking to save money on your food shop? Find some top tips to make your food last longer and save money.

‘Best Before’ and ‘Use By’ dates – what do they mean?

  • Best before’ refers to quality: your food will be at its best when used before the date given.

After this peak freshness date, it might not be at its best, but it will still be safe to eat. Use your senses to make a judgement.

Depending on how your food is stored, it has the potential to be good enough to eat after this date.

  • ‘Use by’ refers to safety: you must not eat food past the ‘use by’ date.

You cannot always smell the bacteria that causes food to spoil, so after the ‘use by’ date, the food may appear perfectly fine to eat, but could still lead to food poisoning.

You should NOT eat food after the ‘use by’ date – even if it looks and smells OK.

  • Display until / Sell by date labels

These dates are for the retailer’s attention only.

For more information on food date labels, please click here.

Keep it cool

The ideal fridge temperature is between 0-5°C. Adjusting the temperature of your fridge could help to keep your food fresher for longer (sometimes up to three days longer than usual).

Different fridge brands have different thermostat settings. To find out how to check and adjust the fridge temperature for your specific fridge brand please click here.

Some foods will keep longer in the fridge, just make sure they are on the right shelf! Find out where to store certain foods in your fridge here.

Be a Freezer Hero!

Using your freezer is a great way to reduce food waste. It acts like a pause button, giving us more time to eat the food we buy.

Once frozen it won’t spoil and puts the ‘use by’ date on hold.

It’s safe to freeze almost any food. If it’s got a ‘use by’ date, freeze before or on the use by date then simply defrost and use it within 24 hours.


Change the way you think about leftovers – plan to make them!

The thinking behind it is that it’s more economical to cook in bigger batches, so there are bigger savings to be had by cooking extra at dinnertime with the intention of having some leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. Or freeze your extras for a ready lunch or dinner when you’re short on time.

Cooking a bigger meal also helps to make sure everything gets used up (less half-used tins of tomatoes or cartons of cream in the fridge!).

Unsure how to utilise your leftovers? Nervous about storage and reheating? Get the facts here.

Quick and easy recipes

Need to rustle up a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner? Look no further than these quick recipe ideas!

If you have Facebook and/or Instagram, why not follow Recycle Devon for #ThrowTogetherThursday recipes posted every week:

Recycle Devon Facebook

Recycle Devon Instagram

Unavoidable food waste can still be put to good use by being recycled in the food waste collection service, where available, or composted at home.